CTMS students transition to the Pavilion after discovering asbestos


Amili Chavarria

The 7th and 8th graders from Centennial Middle School have relocated to the Pavilion for the rest of the current school year because of asbestos. 

Built in 1976, Centennial Middle School, the building contained asbestos and is now being treated to get rid of it.

Asbestos is a material that was put into the drywall of many old buildings, it serves as a layer to help prevent a fire, it was later discovered that asbestos is very dangerous and can cause severe lung disease. Asbestos is safe until it’s disturbed.

An environmental engineer was brought into the school and discovered there was asbestos disturbed in the school after there was maintenance done to the roof.

“We believe it was disturbed when we got a new roof on the building, we think the roofers while they were scraping and getting the old roof off, they broke particles of that asbestos and it dropped from the roof to the dropped ceiling,” principal Joseph Simo said. 

The school is still in great condition, people in protective gear will begin going in and removing it with cautions, until it’s for sure the school is free of it, the school is about 9600 square feet, so the process will be extensive.

“We’ll choose the company that gives the best price, and the best timeline to get the job done, but we’re hoping to be back in the building by August 1st,” Simo said.

With the asbestos in the main building, 7th and 8th grade students have switched over to the Pavilion, and the 6th graders remain in the north building that used to be the old Johnson Elementary. This building was built after the main building and it has no asbestos. 

The sudden change has impacted teachers, and students, but everyone has taken it calmly and made the best of the situation.

“The students are doing the best they can,at the end of the day they’re middle schoolers so they’re really trying their best, it’s tough it’s difficult, it’s not a classroom setting which I know is the hardest part for them,” teacher Juana L. Jaime said.

The teachers had only one day to go into the school and take out all the material they needed and believed were necessary, they were then put together to co-teach the students as a team in big combined classes. 

Much research has been done by the teachers to give the students the best education possible while in this new environment they’re all put in. 

“The most challenging part has been trying to find the materials we need to help our students be successful,” teacher Jeanna Jasperson said. 

Through it all the teachers and students will continue keeping a positive attitude and continue doing their best.

“I think our kids are doing well, they’ve given everything. I know it’s tough on everybody, even the teachers, but the kids are really stepping up and we’re all really proud of them for that,” Jaime said.